Prince: Gale's comments were not racist

England

Lancashire veteran batsman Ashwell Prince has spoken up for the first time since his clash with Yorkshire's Andrew Gale, and has defended his opponent by saying he didn't consider Gale to have made racist comments.

Lancashire veteran batsman Ashwell Prince has spoken up for the first time since his clash with Yorkshire's Andrew Gale, and has defended his opponent by saying he didn't consider Gale to have made racist comments.

The pair clashed in the Roses derby last month, with Gale calling Prince a 'F…ing Kolpak' and telling him to go back to his 'own country' during a heated spat on the field. Gale was initially banned for two games.

Then, after Yorkshire won the Championship, the ECB charged him with a level three offense, deciding 'Kolpak' was said in a racist manner, which has caused huge controversy, as not even Prince took it that way.

Prince told <i>Ballz Radio</i>: "I took offence at the way he spoke to me. To be quite honest, I didn't stand there and think that might be a racial slur.

"The guy walked towards me and had a go and I defended myself. The ECB feel it has racial connotations and it's up to them to do whatever they want to do."

The former Proteas opener then went on to say that while he was doing a bit of time-wasting at the end of the day, he didn't start the argument with Gale, and that he didn't have an issue with Gale's field placement, as had been suggested.

Prince added: "I don't think I've come across anyone in my 270-odd first-class matches who has abused a fielder for moving from backward point to silly point, so to suggest I sparked off this incident is laughable.

"I didn't say anything. I was stood in the middle of the pitch as it was coming to cut-off time, they were bowling two spinners and wanted to bowl as many overs as possible.

"Obviously, the experienced player I am, I was stood in the middle of the pitch tying up my thigh pad and taking as long as possible to make sure there would only be one more over.

"He's taken offence to this – it's a ploy of timewasting, I'll admit this but everyone who has ever played the game as done it, it's nothing new – and he's come from backward point to silly point, walking in my direction, and hurled a whole lot of abuse at me.

"Those who know me and those who have played against me know I will not tolerate that type of thing. I defended myself and whatever was said, was said."

Gale's fate will be decided at a hearing in October. The matter rose to prominence when the ECB banned Gale from the trophy presentation, despite him being the skipper for the past six years.

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